Eggplant is taking over my kitchen! Like many garden items, it is either a feast or a famine and right now it is a never ending feast. Since grocery prices seem to climb each week, the solution is to freeze the excess for later use when the season has ended and it is back to a famine. Eggplant has to be blanched before freezing. So pull out a large pot with a strainer and fill it with a gallon of water that has a half cup of bottled lemon juice added. Set it over high heat and bring to a boil. It pays to have a helper alongside of you because just like apples, eggplant will start to oxidize after it is peeled. That’s where your helper comes in so you can work quickly with the amount of eggplant you have! Trim off the ends, then peel and cut into half inch slices. Plunge them into the boiling water all at once and set your timer for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, have a sink of ice water ready because when your timer goes off, drain from the boiling water and place in the ice water for the same amount of time (3 minutes). This is necessary to stop the cooking process. Drain from the ice water and pat dry with paper towels.
Now the slices are ready to freeze so place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop into the freezer. They will freeze within 40 minutes and then you can transfer them to a labeled freezer bag. This method prevents the slices from sticking together, so you can remove as many slices later as necessary for your recipe. They are best if used within 9 months so be sure and date the bag. That means you’ll have ready to use eggplant (no need to thaw first before using!) to carry you through until the spring of next year.